Theme 10: Culture and Politics in an Information Age
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  (Last updated: November 23rd, 2005)
 
 
 
 
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  Culture-Diversity in the Informaion Society and How Political Power can be Transformed to Public Policy and Popular Culture  
  Kallirroi Nicolis, Vice President of Social Aid of Hellas  
  Official Representative in the UN Congresses, Athens, Greece  
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  "Cultura animi philosophia est"- Culture is a philosophy of the soul. The great Roman Orator Cicero (106-43BC) wrote this phrase and introduced the word culture in the human vocabulary. While the word "civilization" is a rather new word expressed and used first in England during the 18th c.(1772). According to Alfred Weber, the Civilization expresses the technical human knowledge while by Culture we mean the values, the ideals and the way we react and express our feelings, in one word culture is our spirit.
 
     
  In our rapidly evolving society many catalyzing changes emphasize the dynamic and change-oriented nature of culture. Because in the concept “culture” we add as an appropriate prerequisite the images and perception of the “diversity.” So the idea of the culture-diversity is not to create only a traditional general plan covering society's development and the management of how actions to be taken over the course of a limited and exclusive time and place span, but to take into serious consideration  
     
  1. Human Knowledge, covering: a) The specific culture of a country or a community and their opinion about the world b) At the same time other cultures existing in the same country and community c) That not all countries have same vision about the world, meaning that the different perspectives have their own logic and value d) Existing common stereotypes in the community with regard to others.  
     
  2. Aptitudes : a) Detecting prejudices, stereotypes and egocentric attitudes. b) Distinguishing different points of view in the oral and written speech and in the media c) Being able to perceive the ways of life and beliefs of others.  
     
  3. Attitudes: a) Valuing positively the cultural diversity and the alternative points of view. b) Respecting those that might look different. c) Being able to distinguish the common and ordinary group of features of the people. Peoples saw the value of the cultural diversity through the knowledge of contemporary information. Media and Internet open windows of knowledge and information processing. We will present this chapter with details, using transparencies and giving up-to-date dates.  
     
  Information can shift the parameters of cultural diversity and give voice to minorities promoting their presence and their identity. Also in recent years the role of women in peace-building through information and knowledge has been increasingly recognized. One of the strategic objectives of the Gender Equality in the Sector for the Social and Human Sciences is to explore the gender dynamics of conflict, peace-building and reconstruction and how this Movement for peace can transform a sheer political power into public policy and by supporting women's initiatives for peace into an active popular and creating culture.  
     
  Information processing is not to create a traditional milieu for cultural diversity but to develop a dynamic framework that will encourage better planning and steady social cohesion.  
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  Les Peuples Auchtoctiones Dans La Societé De LA Informacion Au Chili  
  Judith Galvez-Diaz, Professor  
  Society of Information, University of Chile, Chile  
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  Les peuples autochtones sont le dernier chaînon de la chaîne des liens dans les pays moins developpées, dans ce contexte la société de l'information que c'est par essence basée sur la culture et les ressources humaines et pourtant c'est la voie plus efficace pour aider aux communautés locales à la reconnaissance de leurs diversité culturelle ainsi que des droits à la gestion du territoire ,et de leurs ressources.  
     
  Ce scénario représente un défi por le peuples autochtones,comment peuvent-ils contrôler leurs usage dans leur vie quotidienne et comment ils peuvent utiliser lesTIC selon les valeurs culturelles traditionnelles ?  
     
  Au Chili, les peuples autoctones ont commence à transformer la société de l'information selon leurs propres besoins,tout en préservant son identité.  
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  Information Communication Technologies (ICTs):  
  Transnational Networks and their Support to Indigenous Human Rights and Self-Determination  
     
  Ramiro Jordan, Associate Professor  
  Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering  
     
  Jorge Garcia,  
  Community and Planning Department,  
     
  Simoni Valadares  
  Department of Linguistics  
     
  University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA  
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  Indigenous Peoples around the world continue to organize for claiming their human right to self-determination. In spite of the fact that many Indigenous Nations remain living in isolated areas, they have managed to create alliances with International Non-government Organizations (INGOs), which have allowed them to prevent land deforestation, human displacement, desecration of religious sites, pollution of rivers, and to further their human right to manage and control the natural resources within their communities. In this context, the development of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) has opened up new opportunities for communication and information sharing. This paper addresses social, economic, cultural and political inequalities in a global world. It focuses on the development of human networks and the use of ICT to counteract social inequality. It will be argued that in the process of development, marginalized groups can use ICTs as communication and planning tools to create social, economic and cultural development from within their own communities. The Quadruple Helix paradigm exemplified in this paper supports the notion that 1) strategic alliances that include community as an integral part can be the drivers of cultural, political and social development and 2) that in the development process ICT can also be used to generate economic opportunities  
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  Privacy, Human Rights and Technolgy  
  Hurriyah El Islamy, Doctoral Candidate  
  University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom  
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  Decades ago, it would be much easier to ensure that one is within a private sphere, ie, by simply ‘placing’ oneself within an area where no other was there and that such area had sufficient measures of protection from public gaze. Presently similar state is more difficult to achieve due to the advance of surveillance technology which will allow the observation/surveillance to be effected penetrating walls, from distance, in complete darkness, etc. Seclusion of oneself as a measure to ensure privacy has become no longer sufficient. It is not clear whether such lack of privacy that individual nowadays can expect is due to the change of value of the society, the advancement of technology or the slow response of man-made laws. Regardless which factors contribute most (if not solely) to the lack of privacy protection, this paper proposes that each and every individual has the right – or more appropriately - the “freedom” and not a mere right – of private life. Thus this paper aims to evidence that freedom of private life is the fundamental doctrine that provides for the general umbrella of protection of what otherwise simply referred as privacy; as it will also show how the legal recognition thereto will afford comprehensive protection of one’s right to privacy, even in the context of the new digitalised world, where privacy intrusion is possible in many ways unimaginable before.  
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  Information Society, Knowledge Society - Possible Without Freedom of Information?  
  Peter Johan Lor, Professor, University of Pretoria, South Africa and  
  Secretary General, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, The Hague, The Netherlands  
     
  Johannes Jacobus Britz, Dean and Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA, and  
  Visiting Professor, School of Information Technology, University of Pretoria, South Africa  
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Modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) are seen not only as  allowing global economic activities and the sharing of knowledge, but also as  favouring transparency and democracy by creating space and a public sphere for civil society,. The Internet, and in particular the World Wide Web, has proved a powerful tool in both the manipulation of economic activities and the mobilisation of civil society.  Much is made of the democratising effect of ICTs in e-government.  Yet there are governments that attempt to control in an authoritarian manner both who accesses the Internet and what content may be accessed and used. Two questions arise. At the pragmatic level it must be asked whether such attempts can at all succeed.  Independently of this, at a theoretical level the question is whether an Information Society and, more critically, a Knowledge Society can develop in the absence of freedom of access to information, freedom of expression and freedom to access the digital economy. Based on this broad background this paper puts forward four pillars of a Knowledge Society: (a) ICTs and connectivity, (b) Content and the usability thereof, (c) Infrastructure other than ICTs, and (d) Human capacity. It attempts to evaluate the effect of authoritarian governmental control of access and content on each of them.  It is argued from an ethical perspective, and more specifically social justice that, while a technologically oriented concept of the Information Society may not be incompatible with severe state control, a more multi-dimensional Knowledge Society cannot develop under such circumstances.

 
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  Cyberactivism: A Transformative Pedagogy of Adult Learning Online  
  Karim Amirali Remtulla, Doctoral Student, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education  
  University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada  
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Activists, either on their own or as part of transnational civil society organizations, are increasingly using the Internet as a means to further their activisms (Rodgers, 2003).  This paper analyzes the discourse regarding cyberactivism that has transpired so far (Chamberlain, 2004; Dean 2001; Illia, 2002; McCaughey and Ayers, 2003; Rogers, 2003; Salter, 2003; Silver, 2003; Vegh, 2003) by asking, “What does cyberactivism mean to those who deem themselves online activists, and, how do they perceive their activism online?” 

 
     
  This paper begins with a textual analysis of the term ‘cyberactivism’ to determine what are its etymologies and histories.  A semiotic analysis then explores the tensions that emerge and are at play within the expression ‘cyberactivism’.  Finally, a conceptual analysis of the term ‘cyberactivism’ traces how the ‘concept’ of ‘cyberactivism’ has evolved and mutated in recent history.  These analyses provide the necessary foundation for the development of meaning around the expression ‘cyberactivism’.  For the second part of the question around perceptions, this paper utilizes a case study methodology by applying the principles of Transformative Learning Theory in Adult Education (Boyd and Myers, 1988; Clark and Dirkx, 2000; Taylor, 1998) to Mr. Zeke Spiers - a radical activist whose activisms comprised both online elements - as documented by McCaughey and Ayers (2003).  To conceive of cyberactivism is to be able to perceive it as a radical pedagogy of transformation from the standpoint of the activist.  
     
  By exploring cyberactivism, this paper aims to broaden the discourse on culture and politics in an information age.  
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